Used in curing warts – “An old man near Bentonville, Arkansas, had quite a local reputation as a wart specialist, though he made no secret of his method, and said that anybody could perform similar cures if they only ‘knowed how.’ He told me that he just fastened a bit of cloth to the wart, blindfolded the ‘warty feller,’ and turned him around seven times then he buried the cloth in the ground, and very seldom did the wart last more than three or four days thereafter.” ~Randolph OMF 128

Black silk worn to keep away croup – “A piece of black silk around the neck is regarded as ‘liable to keep off croup.’” ~Randolph OMF 155

Red wool in lamp protects family – “…several old people in widely separated parts of the Ozarks have told me that the red wool in the oil is supposed to protect the family from death by violence or poison.” ~Randolph OMF 304

White cloth with cow manure for sore eyes – “My brother was three or four years old and they went down to the cow lot and got some cow manure and put that on a white cloth and put that over his eyes and bound his head. He slept all night that way. Next morning his eyes was open and all that red was gone.” ~Carter and Krause HRIO 20

Burning socks for a bruise – “Take several wool sox and put them in a bucket and burn them slowly letting them smoke and place you foot in the smoke and it will cure the stone bruise.” ~Parler FBA II 1622

Burning rags for a bruise – “My husband said his mother…used to build up a smoke in a pot by setting fire to rags then crushing out the blaze. Then one of the children who had a stone bruised heel just held the heel over the smoke to remove the bruise.” ~Parler FBA II 1623

Red flannel worn for chills – “To prevent chills, dress the person in red flannel next to the skin.” ~Parler FBA II 1733

Red velvet for warts – “To cure warts, rub on red velvet.” ~Parler FBA III 3561


Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

Randolph, Vance Ozark Magic and Folklore (OMF)